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Old 12-10-2014, 10:52 PM   #1
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EPIRBS in Australia

Just routine tested my GME epirb. Not a squeak not a flash, the battery has done its dash. Which is about right after 7 years.
I`m looking at 2 replacements, both Aussie made (wow, we made something!) with GPS. A new GME(600G model), a well established maker ,and a KTI (SA1G), also sold as a Pains-Wessex (famous maker of marine flares etc). While searching, I was surprised to find an AMSA (Australian Marine Safety Authority) warning link that users may have trouble removing a very tightly screwed on clear cover over the KTI switchgear. Specs are similar. The KTI is around $265, the GME $329.
Anyone have any experience with either, or other makes.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:23 AM   #2
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Bruce I have a GME, with GPS and I was told that the battery can be replaced, not only that, but I believe there is a discount on the replacement battery. Maybe yours is an older model, but worth checking it out before you toss it and buy new. Mine looks like this…
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Pete. My old Epirb has no GPS, so a chance to upgrade, but a new battery is an option.
The KTI website says they`ve been making Epirbs for 20 years, mainly for commercial and Department of Defence use. I sent them a query about the AMSA warning, no response yet.
I checked the GME site for battery replacements, I`ll have to call them. Importantly, I found a recall for MT 400/401/403 made 1/05-2/08 S/N 50101000-802250722. Mine is an MT400, bought 2007, so I`ll be checking this out.
I call this the "strawberry punnet syndrome" Deeper you go, worse it gets.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I found a recall for MT 400/401/403 made 1/05-2/08 S/N 50101000-802250722. Mine is an MT400, bought 2007, so I`ll be checking this out.
An update. GME emailed right back, they will replace my Epirb, if I send them the old one and the S/N I gave them is right.
There is a letter in the December Afloat Magazine of a readers similar experience with GME. He`d disposed of his recalled Epirb, so no exchange possible, so they gave him a VHF radio as recompense.
If this works out I`ll be staying with a GME product. Will they give me a GPS model if I offer to pay the difference? Worth asking. I`m impressed by a company that "fixes up if it messes up".
Hats off for GME. And for Afloat, the December edition is full of excellent articles.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:16 AM   #5
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Worth asking if you could pay the diff and upgrade. But considering the likelihood of having to use it - not worth the extra if you have to buy a new one at full price, so grab their offer and run if that's the case, I'd say. You'd still be found without the GPS function after all. They'd just have to look a bit harder.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:31 PM   #6
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Bruce,
That depends on where you cruise.
If you go off shore then I wouldn't go without an EPIRB with GPS.
If you are sticking to the Harbour / Pittwater then not a real concern just cover the regulations.
Cheers
Benn
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:30 PM   #7
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I understand the GME ones have a readily replaceable battery at a reasonable cost. For some others battery replacement is almost as much as a new EPIRB.

Another option for you is to get the base model GME replacement but also purchase a personal EPIRB that has GPS. The personal ones do not meet regs for a vessel, but are great to have in or attached to your life jacket for when you are using your tender. And when you are not in your tender it will be on the main boat, so you could use it instead of the large compliant EPIRB if you do have to trigger one.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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Benn, I usually just transit Sydney Harbor Broken Bay to Pittwater/Hawkesbury. We will probably be relocating to B/Bay temporarily, maybe permanently. Andy says you may take explore there on your way home, I think you`ll like it.
As I may be tempted to explore north from B/Bay, I`ll try for a GPS version, offering to pay the difference.
Unfortunate GME had a recall and AMSA had concerns about the KTI, the 2 Aust. built Epirbs.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:29 AM   #9
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Bruce,
Pittwater is on my must do list on my way home , hope to spend a couple of weeks there.
I don't know when I will head north again.
Boat Festival is early Feb then cruise for a couple of weeks, back to work in April so probably after that.
Cheers
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Old 12-13-2014, 05:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tidahapah View Post
Bruce,
Pittwater is on my must do list on my way home , hope to spend a couple of weeks there.
I don't know when I will head north again.
Boat Festival is early Feb then cruise for a couple of weeks, back to work in April so probably after that.
Cheers
Benn
Jeez, what a great life…sigh…just envious…

Feeling a bit more depressed than usual at present, as we GPs here in Oz are facing financial extinction as a result of dear old PM Tony Abbott's latest 'improved' (ha ha) budget proposal, to save money from Medicare. Threatens to be a 50% income cut. Yes, not kidding…
In one fell swoop, Tony has managed to alienate the entire GP workforce through political stupidity. Sorry, end of rant.

Seasons greetings guys - take care down there Benn.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
Jeez, what a great life…sigh…just envious…

Feeling a bit more depressed than usual at present, as we GPs here in Oz are facing financial extinction as a result of dear old PM Tony Abbott's latest 'improved' (ha ha) budget proposal, to save money from Medicare. Threatens to be a 50% income cut. Yes, not kidding…
In one fell swoop, Tony has managed to alienate the entire GP workforce through political stupidity. Sorry, end of rant.

Seasons greetings guys - take care down there Benn.
Seems to be a trend
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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Peter don't start me, you guys aren't the only ones to be alienated.
Make the most of what we have and go boating, they can't get us when we are on the water and far enough away.
I gotta go to work on the 24 th Dec.

Cheers
Benn
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:17 AM   #13
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Benn, I think you will like Broken Bay and the associated waterways. Some are fjord like, steep rocky timber sided, water often 20 metres deep, and they feel very remote. Fortunately National Parks provide some moorings, though the lines can be short and an extension strop is useful. There are private moorings aplenty in Americas and Refuge Bays (where the "Krait" commandos trained before heading to Singapore, memorial plaque at the waterfall), which people use anyway. Also at "The Basin", at Coasters Retreat in Pittwater. Worth ordering "Cruising Guide to the Hawkesbury" by J&J Powell, 3rd Edn may have a pic of my boat on p105), there are better reasons than that to have one, even for 2 weeks visiting.
Sugarloaf Bay in Middle Harbour, west of where you stayed, is nice too.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:20 AM   #14
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I am the proud owner of a new epoxy bottom (on the boat)
which took 4.5 weeks to put on.I am officially totally over sanding upside down.
Here's some pics of why you should own a smaller boat.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:34 AM   #15
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Hi Pete,Sorry to talk politics here.

Tony is the gift that keeps on giving for sure.

My business has been about 30% below usual since the budget came out.

A lot of my clients are science related,ie CSIRO,Antartic division,IMAS etc.

What a bloodbath,I guess not even having a science minister in 2014 says it all.



However the good news is I am the proud owner of a new epoxy bottom (on the boat)

which took 4.5 weeks to put on.I am officially totally over sanding upside down.

Here's some pics of why you should own a smaller boat.

Hi Stornaway7, nice boat.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:08 AM   #16
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Stornaway7
Mate where a bouts in Hobart did you haul out to do the bottom job?
Looks like it came up OK
Cheers
Benn
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #17
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Yes, that boat is to die for anyway, although I sympathise if you did the bottom sand yourself. I wouldn't have that on for sure. Looks great now though, and I see you have the PropSpeed on as well - you won't regret that.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:36 AM   #18
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We hauled at Kettering,Oyster cove marina.I think we maxed out the travel lift.
Used Propgold on the shafts and props, much the same as propspeed I reckon.
In line with the thread I use the GME EPIRB with GPS,It comes with either a 5 plus 5 or 7 plus 7 year batteries. Also ACR PLBs in each lifejacket(Stormy's)
GME have always given me good service if I have had to deal with them.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:54 AM   #19
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Stornaway7: were osmotic blisters the reason for the new epoxy bottom? Care to tell us a bit about the process?
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:29 PM   #20
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Time to check my GME EPIRB

I remember MV Theresa from the RMYC, it is a mighty boat.Don't envy you sanding it down though.
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